Happy New Year!

31 Dec 2011

Hey lovelies,

I am away from home a bit longer than expected and have run out of scheduled posts! Unfortunately I do not have my laptop with me so cannot upload anymore posts (this is currently being posted from my phone) but I get back tomorrow so should have some new content up by Monday.

I hope you all have a lovely evening tonight and wish you all a happy new year. Stay safe and enjoy yourself :)

Lots of love
Xoxo Carissa

Benefit Show offs Shimmer Powder Review

29 Dec 2011

I am a big fan of Benefit and their Show offs Shimmer Powders are no let down. These finely milled shimmer powders can be worn in a variety of ways; as an eye shadow, highlighter, blush or even lip colour. I currently own four of them, my favourite being Ruby-doo.

Miss Moon, Powder Puff
Ruby-doo, Mint Julep

You can use them as a blush, mix them with other blushes to add some shimmer, mix with lip gloss to wear on your lips and finally they can be used as a highlighter.

As you can see in the photo I still have the majority of the products left and this is simply because you do not need to use a huge amount, I usually use the powder in the lid and that is more than enough. Personally I love the packaging, although I know some people do not agree, especially those who are more accident prone. However I am very accident prone and have avoided spilling any product, I am just careful when using them.

These can be worn wet or dry depending on the intensity you would like to achieve. I tend to only wear them wet when on the eyes, because as you can see they achieve a more dramatic effect and also tend to last much longer.

Miss moon is a white shimmer with pearly gold undertones that is great as a highlighter on the brow and check bones. Powder puff is a lovely pinky peach colour with a slight gold tint, perfect for on the cheeks.

Ruby-doo is a beautiful lilacy mauve colour which is the most versatile of the bunch. It is great for creating a soft smoky eye, pretty on the lips and a nice shimmer on the cheeks. As I said, this is my favourite and I am always getting compliments whenever I wear this! Lastly, Mint julep is a very pretty teal colour with a golden shimmer. I have only ever worn this on my eyes, but it creates a lovely two tone metallic effect which really makes your eyes pop.

I would highly recommend these and although they are now discontinued they are still available to buy online, primarily on E-bay, at a much cheaper price. They used to be priced at £12.50, but you can now get them for just £6.00 for 1g of product. They are very easy to blend, long lasting and do not fade or crease.

XOXO Carissa

Festive Nails of the Day

28 Dec 2011

Hey lovelies,
I hope you have all had an amazing Christmas; I had a great day with my family and received some lovely gifts. I received some beauty products so will be doing a few reviews once I have tested them out!

For the Christmas period I have been wearing the above combination, Nails Inc. Piccadilly Circus and Models Own Magenta Divine. Piccadilly Circus is a rich berry pink that achieves a beautifully opaque colour in just one coat.

Models own Magenta Divine is a clear based magenta glitter that looks great on its own or layered with another nail polish. I found application to be easy and quite dense. I applied one coat of each polish and achieved the following effect.

It was very hard to capture the true colour of Piccadilly Circus and therefore it appears slightly darker in photos. This makes the contrast between the two polishes appear larger, when in reality I feel they are a perfect match. I love this combination and feel it is a great alternative to the festive colour red. What does everyone else think of this combo?

XOXO Carissa

Do It Yourself Monday #002 - Luscious Lip Balms

26 Dec 2011

This week I am going to show you how to make a lip balm. If you have a lipstick that is not a nice consistency, or an eye shadow that you would love to have as a lip colour then you are in the right place!

Obviously you do not need to use these exact products, nor do you need to use all of them but I suggest you use:

As many Eye shadow and Lip Colour you wish, choose ones that will mix nicely
Lip gloss
Small container (not in photograph)

Take your Vaseline and scoop some into a small container. I did not fill the container as I did not want to use too much Vaseline, but you can use as much as you like as long as you leave some space for the other ingredients.

Get your eye shadow and add some to the container, the more you use the more pigmented it will be. It is better to add too little as you can always add more if it isn’t enough.

Get your lipstick (optional), or in my case a colour stick, and add it to the mixture. As I said you can use just one or the other, I chose to use both as I thought they would produce a nice colour.

Then mix all the products together. I used the end of an eye shadow brush to give it a good mix. Once mixed you can see what colour it has produced, I wasn’t quite happy with mine so I added a slightly darker eye shadow.

Once you are happy with the colour add a small amount of lip gloss (any colour will do, make sure you don't add too much or it will be too runny) to make the lip balm a better consistency that applies nicely. Again, mix it together and then you need to put it into the microwave to help melt the lipstick and to help it set nicely.

I did it in small intervals for about 1 minute. Make sure you mix it in between to ensure the lipstick has melted fully. Once you are done place it in the freezer for around half an hour to set it and you will end up with something like this.

I am really pleased with how this lip balm came out, it looks really pretty on. I hope you enjoyed this DIY Monday and let me know if you made a lip balm!

XOXO Carissa

Merry Christmas!

24 Dec 2011

Just a quick message to say I hope you all have a lovely Christmas/anything else you may be celebrating and get all that you wished for :) Eat lots and have a fantastic day!

I would also like to say thank you for all the support I have received since starting this blog, I really do appreciate it. I am going to be fairly busy over the next coming week and I am therefore going to schedule a few posts. I will not have internet access for a few days, but I will reply to your comments when I can.

Lots of Love, Carissa

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

22 Dec 2011

It's not long till Christmas now, and as I have yet to post anything remotely Christmas related I thought what's better than the Christmas tag!

How adorable is this Reindeer and bauble? Enjoy!


1. What is Your Favourite Holiday Movie?
I love Christmas films so this is a hard one from me, I honestly don’t think I can pick one favourite. But a few that I like are It’s a Wonderful Life, ELF, The Grinch and Miracle on 34th Street.

2. What is Your Favourite Christmas Colour?
Gold. Typically our house and tree is decorated in gold and I just love how it looks. I especially love glittery gold<3 perfect nail polish.

3. Do You Like To Stay in Your PJs Or Dress Up For Christmas?

In the morning, when opening presents etc, I am definitely always in my PJs. But once presents are opened I like to go dress up nicely for the rest of the day. I already have this year’s dress sorted, it’s a lovely navy velvet dress, along with some black tights.

4. If You Could Only Buy One Person a Present This Year Who Would It Be?
My mother. Unfortunately she hasn’t been too well for the past couple of months so it would definitely mean the most to her! It would be a chance to put a smile on her face :)

5. Do You Open Your Present Christmas Eve Or Christmas Morning?
When I was younger we were allowed to open one present on Christmas eve and the rest in the morning. Now I am all grown up (boo hoo:( ) and we open presents on Christmas morning.


6. Have You Ever Built a Ginger Bread House?
Never! I would love to make one though as they look so pretty!

7. What Do You Like To Do On Your Christmas Break?
Spend time with my family and generally just relax. I do enjoy shopping but at Christmas I find it quite stressful as it is always so busy! Therefore once all the shopping is done, I take it easy, watch films and spend it all snuggled up in the warmth.

8. Any Christmas Wishes?
I wish all my friends and family health and happiness.

9. Favourite Christmas Smell?
Cinnamon! I loveee the smell of cinnamon and its such a Christmassy smell.

10. Favourite Christmas Meal or Treat?
Definitely Christmas dinner <3 I love all the vegetables, turkey, gravy, stuffing....ah just thinking about it is making me crave one!

Also, I tag everyone who is reading this, so repost with your answers - I look forward to reading them!

ELF Haul and Swatches

20 Dec 2011

I purchased some E.L.F goods a few weeks back and thought I would share what I bought with you :) I have tried a few E.L.F products before and generally I am quite impressed, more so with the studio and mineral line. If you check out their Facebook page you will see that they are always having offers (they are going to be having 40% off later this evening so be sure to check it out) and so I did not buy these products full price - even though they are still great value!

They are so pigmented, the only slight disappointment was the blush but it is a lovely natural colour.
1. Studio Cream Eyeliner in Gunmetal £3.50
2. Studio Conditioning Lip Balm spf 15 in Peaceful Pink £3.50
3. Studio Conditioning Lip Balm spf 15 in Nice and Natural £3.50
4. Mineral lip gloss in Sorority Girl £3.00
5. Studio Blush in Tickled Pink £3.50
6. Shimmer Eyeliner Pencil in Precious Pink £1.50
7. Shimmer Eyeliner Pencil in Plum Passion £1.50
8. Studio Matt lip colour in Coral £3.50
9. Studio Concealer in Beige £3.50
10. Studio Cream Eyeshadow in Eggplant £3.50

If you would like me to do a more in depth review on any of these products then feel free to request. Of this purchase, my favourites are the lip balms (they smell so delicious), so I would definitely be purchasing some more in the near future! Does anyone else like E.L.F?

XOXO Carissa

Do It Yourself Monday #001 - Think Lush face mask, at a fraction of the price.

19 Dec 2011

You may have noticed one of my interests is DIY and you may be thinking what on earth?! But I'm not talking about the DIY that involves nails and hammers, but DIY beauty, fashion and gift ideas etc.

Do It Yourself Monday will consist of a project each Monday (or every other, I shall see how it goes!) that could range from a face mask to beauty tutorials and much more. Quite often many DIY ideas involve many products you would find in your cupboard and are therefore very cheap and easy to make! Now onto todays DIY.

I thought I would start with a simple one this week – A face mask for dry skin.

It has been getting very cold recently and as a result my skin has been suffering, this face mask is the perfect remedy for those dry skin problems. There are only three ingredients, of which I’m sure most of you will have.

1 Banana
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Baby Oil

First, chop up the banana into smallish pieces. Bananas contain lots of vitamins and minerals and are full of soothing properties which help to reduce inflammation of the skin.

Then put into a bowl and mash with a fork – try not to mash it too much like I did otherwise it will run off your face.

Add 1 teaspoon of Olive Oil and 1 teaspoon of Baby Oil and mix. Olive oil contains a natural moisturiser called squalene, great for those dry patches in the winter months. Baby oil is great at locking in moisture, helping to protect the skin.

Then comes the fun part...put it on your face! When I did this it was very cooling, which was quite relaxing. It smells delicious but try not to eat it as I am sure it is not particularly tasty what with the baby oil and all! Leave on your face for 15 to 20 minutes and rinse with warm water, then apply moisturiser. I did this the other day and I have to say it really did help clear up some of the dry patches on my face!

Little tip: Use the leftover on your hands and feet to help keep them hydrated also!

XOXO Carissa

Did you know chlorine does not turn your hair green - Part 2

18 Dec 2011

Following on from a previous post, here are 5 more beauty myths that you may or may not know. I actually believed most of these myths surprisingly, did anyone else?

6) Skin pores open and close.

FICTION – Pores can appear larger if there is a build up of dirt, but they do not open and close. If you would like to reduce the appearance of large pores, exfoliate.

7) Waxing and shaving causes your hair to grow back thicker.

FICTION – It only appears thicker because the hair is shorter, so you do not have to worry about shaving and waxing making your hair thicker!

8) Rinsing your hair with cold water will make it shiny

FICTION – A quick rinse with cold water after washing your hair is meant to make it shiny, however it doesn’t make it any shinier than a rinse with hot water. So save yourself a cold shower :)

9) Toothpaste can eliminate spots

FICTION – Although the menthol in toothpaste may dry out spots, other ingredients can irritate the skin. Therefore I would stick to your spot treatments, such as tea tree oil.

10) Chlorine turns you hair green

FICTION – It is not actually the chlorine that turns your hair green, it is the copper which can be found in pools that are not maintained properly (or cleaned regularly). Therefore it is still important to use the right shampoo, and if you have any trouble there is always ketchup!

So that is the last of my beauty myths. I hope you enjoyed them - if you missed part one (Did you know sleeping on your back may prevent wrinkles?) you can read it here.

XOXO Carissa

Current make up routine

17 Dec 2011

These are the products that I tend to use most days. Unfortunately I am not able to wear much eye makeup as I currently have eczema on my eyelid :( therefore this is a pretty simple look, but it gives you an idea of what my "base" looks like.

- Garnier Caffeine Anti-dark Circles 2-in-1 Roll-on in Fair I think
- MAC Strobe Liquid Lotion
- Smashbox Photo Finish Bronzing Primer
- Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B30
- Max Factor Smooth Effect Foundation in Natural 50
- Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair and Medium
- Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder in 51
- Benefit Coralista
- Naked Urban Decay Palette
- No7 Extravagant Lashes Mascara
- Kiko Luxurious Lashes
- Missguided MissLed Lip Splash in Caramel (not in picture)

All of this achieves this look:

Oh wow, how hard is it to get a decent photo! I have come to learn I hate posing for a photo by myself! Ah well, I hope its not too bad.

I am in desperate need of a new mascara, does anyone have any recommendations?

Versatile blogger award

16 Dec 2011

Hello girlies,
I received lovely news today that Natalie at Natsbeautybits and Cat at Beauty Inside and Outside (who you should all definitely check out!) nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award.I think this is a lovely way to find new bloggers, whilst also finding out some random facts :)

So, here are the rules for the award:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and give them a shout out on your blog with a link to their blog.
2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
3. Send on the award to 15 other bloggers whose blogs that you appreciate and then let them know that they have won the award.

So, here are my 7 random facts:

1. As you may know from my introductory post, I get at least one random hiccup a day and rarely get proper hiccups. Quite often it will happen numerous times throughout the day and I regularly receive funny looks.

2. I am terrible at telling stories. I try, but I forget key points, and ramble on about irrelevant bits, so please do tell me if I am ever rambling!

3. I recently achieved a Merit in my Masters degree :)

4. I think I have insomnia. I cannot go to sleep before 2am at least.

5. I love cats. We have 3 and I adore each and every one of them.

6. I am very shy around people I don’t know, which I hate. Who would choose to be shy? It is not beneficial in any way.

7. I am a perfectionist and I have a love hate relationship with this trait.

I nominate (in no particular order):

Sorry if I listed anyone who has already been nominated, think of it as you are extra special! I hope you enjoyed my random facts, it was fun writing them.


15 Dec 2011

After months of resisting, I have finally joined the world of twitter. It would be lovely to get to know some of you, so if you use twitter please follow me :)

Follow me @Vanillacrush1

As a newbie I am still trying to find my way around, but hopefully it won't take too long and no doubt I will be addicted very soon.

Lots of Love :)

Offer of the week - Soap & Glory™ Big Splendour™

This is one amazing offer that I just had to share with you. Boots have been doing a better than half price offer every week, and this coming week is one of my favourites. I for one love Soap and Glory, their scrubs are one of the best I have used, and would love to try out more of their products. The Soap & Glory™ Big Splendour™ could be yours for just £25 reduced from £60 for one week only, however I can guarantee you it will not last that long!

Inside this set you will receive 10 items:

Clean On Me™ Creamy Clarifying Shower Gel - 500ml
The Righteous Butter™ Body Butter - 300ml
Pulp Friction™ Body Scrub - 300ml
Face, Soap & Clarity™ Fresh Facial Wash - 150ml
25 Off Your Face™ Cleansing Wipes
Heel Genius Foot™ Cream - 125ml
Hand Food Hand™ Cream - 125ml
Mist You Madly™ Fragrant Body Spray - 250ml
Sexy Mother Pucker™ Lip Plumper In Candy Gloss - 7ml
Calm One, Calm All™ Bubble Bath - 500ml.

If you were to buy all of the above separately then it would total £66.32, so you would be saving a massive £41.32 and getting a free carry case!!

This offer goes live online (at 4am) and in store on Friday 16th, so if you are interested I would be quick as I have a feeling this is going to sell out quick! Who else is going to try and get this enormous bargain? I know I am!

Did you know sleeping on your back may prevent wrinkles? Part 1

14 Dec 2011

You may be thinking what on earth does sleeping on your back have to do with wrinkles? Well, keep reading...

I’m sure most of you will have heard of some of these beauty myths and undoubtedly tried a few, no matter how silly they are. However you may not be aware that some are just that – myths. Here are some that may be of interest to you.

1) Cucumber can help reduce puffiness around the eyes.

FACT – However, it’s not the cucumber that reduces the puffiness, it is the temperature. By putting cucumber on your eyes you are causing the blood vessels to contract, which helps to reduce the puffiness. Therefore you could even put a spoon in the fridge and achieve the same effect.

2) Chocolate can cause spots.

FICTION – There is no scientific evidence to support the idea that eating a lot of chocolate can cause spots. However, a bad diet can cause spots so make sure you eat a healthy balanced diet.

3) Crossing your legs can cause varicose veins.

FICTION – This is something I have always considered to be true, however I am pleased to find out this is not the case. Generally varicose veins are genetic, but they can also be linked to obesity and standing for long periods of time throughout the day.

4) Plucking one grey hair will lead to many growing in its place.

FICTION – This is always good to know for when stray grey hairs begin to show, however be careful as plucking hair can damage the root so it may cause more harm than it’s worth.

5) Sleeping on your back may prevent wrinkles.

FACT – If you sleep on your side or front you may notice ‘sleep lines’ when you wake up and these can turn into deep-set wrinkles. Therefore it is in fact true that sleeping on your back may prevent wrinkles, as you are less likely to get ‘sleep lines’.

So there you have it! Is anyone surprised by any of these myths? I know I am! If you enjoyed these please let me know and I will a similar post in the future. Part 2 will be up in the next few days :)

My Little Muffins...Little Mix!

12 Dec 2011

I have to say I am very happy that Little Mix won X Factor last night! Not only can they sing, but they also seem like such lovely girls. I also love their slightly quirky fashion sense, maybe not always something I would wear , unless I was in a girl band that is - one can wish! Is anyone else pleased they won? I am going to leave you with some of my favourite styles over the season, enjoy!
This was when I first really began to notice them and their style, they are not the typical girl band.
Showing off their fun side, I am loving the custom made jewellery.

This may not be very quirky but I still love this white and gold theme. This is definitely something I could see myself wearing!

I'm loving Jade (far left) and Perries (far right) outfit here. Knee high socks seem to be a staple in their wardrobe and I love the fact that most of the time they are wearing trainers! Not many girl groups get away with trainers and pretty outfits :)

I could go on but I do not want to bore those of you who are not Little Mix Fans. What does everyone else think of their style?


Turquoise Heaven

11 Dec 2011

Over the past couple of months I have come to realise I have a small obsession with nail polish. I am forever buying nail polish, to the point that I am going to have to expand my current storage to home new ones. I popped into Superdrug the other day to buy the collection 2000 16 hour wear concealer (if you haven’t tried this I would definitely recommend it) and noticed it was buy 2 get 1 free. So I had a look around and I noticed this beauty – 2 True Crystal Nail Polish Shade 3 (also known as Mysterious Turquoise).
With my favourite colour being turquoise, I felt this was the perfect Christmas nail polish colour. It is a beautiful deep turquoise that contains just enough sparkle not to be too overpowering and I am just in love with it! Although I do love glitter nail polish, it is such a pain to remove, so I am always looking out for other alternatives, whilst keeping the glitter nail polish for those special occasions.
(Please excuse my amateur photos, I am not particularly experienced with a camera, but I will experiment over the next few weeks so hopefully you will see an improvement)
For just £1.99 this nail varnish is a bargain! It was hard to capture the exact colour, it looks slightly lighter and more blue in the above photo, when in real life it looks more like the colour in the bottle, but it really is a beautiful colour. The above photo was 3 coats but you could definitely get away with just 2. Has anyone tried any other 2 True Crystal nail polishes?

A little secret...

9 Dec 2011

As a relatively new business I’m not sure many people know about BuyaPowa yet, therefore I thought I would share it with you all! The idea behind the website is that prices drop as people shop, allowing you to get Mac, Benefit, Urban Decay etc. at affordable prices. So the more people that bid on an item, the cheaper you are going to get the product for.

I have yet to bid on anything, however I have seen (and missed :() many very good deals that would be perfect as a gift for Christmas, or a cheeky little treat for yourself.

As of this evening there are four items up for grabs for very reasonable prices!

Benefit 'Watts Up' Soft Focus Highlighter RRP £24.50 – could be yours for just £17.50
Penhaligon's Malabah Scented Candle RRP £32 – could be yours for just £12
Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler RRP £20 – could be yours for just £14
Benefit Smokin' Eyes Sexy Eye & Brow Makeover Kit RRP £28.50 – could be yours for just £21

I am very tempted by the Shu Uemura eyelash curler as I have lost my curlers and I have heard good things about Shu Umerua. Is anyone else going to bid on anything?

P.S What’s even better is that these could be yours for free if you refer more people than anyone else for that particular what are you waiting for, get bidding and referring!!

*Although it may seem like it, this is not a sponsored post (I have only just started blogging!), I just wanted to share this with you :)
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